“Who is there?” I asked looking through the peep hole making out Tolu’s face.
She didn’t talk, maybe, obvious of the fact that I was looking through the peep hole. I turned the lock and held the door open to meet her pressing away on her phone clad in a traditional outfit.
“What’s up?” I asked holding to the door expressionless.
“Can I enter?” she asked looking up from her phone.
I shrugged making way for her to enter while she walked in skeptically. Surprisingly, for the first time, I didn’t have that stir at my loins as she walked by. I locked the door behind me and walked back to my former position.
“Umm..” she started clearing her throat, “I’m sorry about some days ago, for misunderstanding you and ……” she trailed off briefly. “And, and, shouting at you.” She said looking away avoiding my eyes.
“It’s ok, I hold nothing against you.” I replied nonchalantly not taking my eyes off her face. That moment she looked so innocent that I kept thinking if actually she could do what she did to me.
“Can I ask you a question?” I blurted out before I could hold it back. I had made up my mind not to talk to her but that moment; I couldn’t hold back the urge to.
She looked up, met my eyes and looked away immediately. “What is it?”
“Why did you do that?” I asked.
“Do what?” she retorted.
“I thought we were friends, I thought we had something going on, I had feelings for you, why did you use me.”
“Toby I didn’t use yo……” she started before I cut through her words.
“You realized I was vulnerable around you and used me to satisfy your urge while sorting whatever was happening with your relationship. Did it even mean anything to you; what we shared? Or was it just a moment?” I asked calmly.
“Toby…. I am sorry.” She said coming to sit beside me while I shifted away from her. “I didn’t use you, I mean things didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to.”
“Things didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to? What things?” I asked looking squarely at her.
“Toby, I am not supposed to tell.”
“Tell what? At least I am supposed to know why you used me.”
“Toby I didn’t used you.” She shouted with clouded eyes, “I had feelings for you which wasn’t supposed to be. It was supposed to be just for a moment after which I move on but I couldn’t; I tried to but I couldn’t, I can’t.” She said tears rolling down her eyes.
“What are you saying?” I asked confused.
“Toby I am sorry but it was all supposed to be a game.” She cried. “I was supposed to have sex with you once and act up, but after the first sex with you, I started having feelings for you. I tried staying away and ignoring you to know if it was just about the sex but, no, it wasn’t.”
“What is the game?” I persisted.
“I was supposed to pass you off to Tessy after our first sex; it’s something we do once in a while when we find someone we fancy. We were supposed to play you while you think you are playing us. But I couldn’t do it. You weren’t the kind of guy we did that to, you have a good heart. I’m sorry Toby.” She concluded sobbing.
I couldn’t believe my ears. I stood up and walked away from her pacing around the sitting room with lots of thoughts going on in my mind. Top on the list of my worries was if I’d contacted an infection from them. That moment, I started feeling like my system wasn’t right. I felt like throwing up.
She sat still on the couch sobbing and looking apologetically at me. Her eyes followed every of my movement.
“Toby I…..” she started.
“Shut the Bleep up and don’t call my name for any reason.” I barked walking to the door. “Get out.” I commanded angrily holding the door for her.
She stood up frightened shaking like jelly taking slow steps towards the door.
“Get out.” I barked again as she stood few inches from me about to say something else.
She hurried her steps and walked out before I banged the door hard behind her. I went straight to the fridge and poured a cup full of mc Dowel and gulped it down before pouring another and another till there was no content left in the bottle.
It wasn’t long before the effect of the drink came. I managed to drag myself to the room and on my bed before I surrendered to it.
Two week on.
Things had actually changed. The only thing I did to keep my mind away from the humiliation was burying myself in office work. I hardly go out for lunch. The only time I step out from my office was when I go for supervision, to drop some documents with Fiolla and when I am closing for the day.
Fiolla had noticed the sudden change in me as I no longer come to work or leave with her giving her one silly excuse or another. After the first two days, she’d tried to talk to me but I had waved her off politely. She also tried a couple of other things to get through to me but when it wasn’t yielding any fruit, she allowed me be.
I stayed away from Hariet, avoided her calls and messages. I told Janet to tell her that I travelled should she ever come around to look for me.
Tessy never contacted me again. Maybe she already knew that I know the truth. I deleted her number from my phone the night Tolu told me.
On her part, after that night, I never saw Tolu again; if she was around or not I didn’t care. The only thing I noticed was that her car space doesn’t look like it was been used.
After that night, the following day I’d gone to the hospital to run a series of test. While waiting for the result, words couldn’t say how frightened I was but when it came out, I was free but was told to come back in three months time to re run the HIV test. As I left there, I know that I wasn’t coming back.
It was Saturday and I was doing some clean up when I heard a knock on my door. For the past two weeks nobody has knocked on my door and whoever it was knew that I was around because of the music playing.
Cleaning my hands on my short, I walked off to check who was on the door. Looking through the peephole I saw Tolu. I turned the lock and held the door open for her. We stood in silence staring at each other. After a moment, I left the door open and went inside while she followed me in closing the door behind her.
I wouldn’t have allowed her in but when I opened the door for her, I knew that she was suffering. She’d emaciated and wasn’t looking herself. She had bags under her eyes which was another indication that she hasn’t been having some good sleep.
“How are you?” I asked breaking the silence which hung over the room.
She shrugged and muttered something that I couldn’t hear. The silence continued as we both sat with no words to say to each other.
“I’m busy inside, let me know when you about to leave.” I said heading back to finish with what I was doing inside. I expected that she will call me back but she didn’t.
I came out later to find her laid on the couch sleeping. My heart reached out for her. I needed to clean the sitting room and contemplated on waking her to leave but decided against it. I carried her to the bedroom and laid her on the bed before heading back to the sitting room.
After I was done with the clean up, I made ‘brunch’ of yam and egg sauce and ate before lying on the couch to get some rest. Sleep didn’t come as expected as my mind kept going back and forth from Tolu in my bedroom and what it shall be when she wakes up.